Peptic ulcers are basically open sores that tend to appear in the upper portion of the digestive tract. There are two types of peptic ulcers and these are the duodenum ulcers which appear in the upper portion of the small intestine, and the other one is the gastric ulcer which is often found in the upper lining of the stomach.
Factors that Cause Peptic Ulcers
So what triggers the appearance of peptic ulcers?
- Regular intake of pain relievers. Aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and other over-the-counter medications can cause irritation in the stomach lining especially when they are taken regularly. Those who are susceptible to peptic ulcers are those who often take medications particularly the elderly.
- Bacteria. The H.pylori bacteria can also be a culprit when it comes to peptic ulcers. Although it is still not clear how this bacteria gets into the system, it can cause inflammation in the lining of the stomach which, in turn, can cause ulcers to appear.
- Alcohol. Alcoholism is also another factor that can cause ulcers to appear. If you are a regular drinker, you are actually putting yourself at risk as the chemicals in the beverage can trigger inflammation which can damage your stomach lining. The next thing you know ulcers start to appear.
Peptic Ulcer Symptoms
There are several symptoms that you should keep an eye out which might be linked to peptic ulcers. Among these are sharp pain in the upper abdomen, vomiting, nausea, weight loss, and in the more severe cases, bleeding in the stomach or duodenum. If you experience any or all of these symptoms, you need to go to the hospital immediately to get the right treatment.
Treating Peptic Ulcers
The treatment for peptic ulcer tends to vary depending on what has caused the ulcers to appear in the first place. But among the usual recommendations for the milder cases are:
- Quit smoking and drinking. These two vices are actually the likely culprit for peptic ulcers which you need to stop immediately when you experience the symptoms mentioned above. They can cause irritation and inflammation on your stomach lining which can produce ulcers.
- Watch what you eat. At one point, doctors recommended their patients to watch what they eat when they have peptic ulcers. If you notice that your ulcers become aggravated after eating a particular food, remove it from your list of foods to eat.
- Over-the-counter antacid. For those with mild ulcers, a good remedy for this is to take antacids. They will help reduce the amount of acids being produced in your stomach so as not to aggravate your ulcers.
- Patients with severe ulcers tend to get surgery to cauterize the open wounds. This depends mostly on the recommendations of their gastroenterologist.
Peptic ulcers can certainly cause pain and discomfort especially when they become aggravated or when they start to bleed. By reducing your smoking and drinking habits and living a healthier lifestyle, there is a huge chance that you can prevent these ulcers from occurring.